Of God and Gods Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism

ISBN-10: 0299225542

ISBN-13: 9780299225544

Edition: 2008

Authors: Jan Assmann

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Description:

For thousands of years, our world has been shaped by biblical monotheism. But its hallmark-a distinction between one true God and many false gods-was once a new and radical idea.Of God and Godsexplores the revolutionary newness of biblical theology against a background of the polytheism that was once so commonplace. Jan Assmann, one of the most distinguished scholars of ancient Egypt working today, traces the concept of a true religion back to its earliest beginnings in Egypt and describes how this new idea took shape in the context of the older polytheistic world that it rejected. He offers readers a deepened understanding of Egyptian polytheism and elaborates on his concept of the ldquo;Mosaic distinction,rdquo; which conceives an exclusive and emphatic Truth that sets religion apart from beliefs shunned as superstition, paganism, or heresy. Without a theory of polytheism, Assmann contends, any adequate understanding of monotheism is impossible
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Book details

Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 5/21/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Jan Assmann is professor of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Understanding Polytheism: The Three-Dimensional Structure of the Divine World
Seth the Iconoclast: Polytheism and the Language of Violence
All Gods Are One: Evolutionary and Inclusive Monotheism
The Axial Age and the Separation of State and Religion: Monotheism as an Axial Movement
Five Steps toward Canonization: Tradition, Scripture, and the Origin of the Hebrew Bible
No God but God: Exclusive Monotheism and the Language of Violence
Conclusion: The Mosaic Distinction
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Index Locorum
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